Former INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, has penned a heartfelt letter of gratitude to Nigerians for standing by him during his arrest and detention. He was slammed with a charge of graft to the tune of N1.2 billion.
However, the former INEC chair was granted bail in the sum of N1 billion, an action many considered bizarre and highhanded. The unusually high bail money was roundly condemned by Nigerians. Many insinuated that it was a case of justice denied to request such bail condition for a suspected crime of N1.2 billion.
According to the Professor of Pharmacognosy, his ordeal started in February this year when he was not allowed to vote in the Presidential election by men of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, who seized his international passport in the name of “investigation”.
Below is the message of Prof Iwu which he shared in a Whatsapp forum.
“The journey I have found myself on began brewing on February 23rd, 2019 when I was deprived of my civic duty of voting in the Presidential Election as a result of EFCC “investigations”. From the seizure of my international passport that February till this recent ordeal with actual charges and detention, God’s goodness has remained manifest as I recite “Te Deum” in Thanksgiving.
I want to thank Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora for their enormous show of concern, support and the spiritual discipline (for not crucifying me before my day in the court of law). My gratitude to Ndi Igbo, umu Imo, Okigwe indigenes (both at home and abroad), clergy from various denominations, especially of the Catholic faith, which I belong to. The support were not just in words of encouragement, but more in actions of prayers, for in it all the glory of God was made manifest.
Though I ask the same question Ps. 4:2a stated “How long, Oh men will you turn my glory into shame?
Whenever persecution comes my way, I become more aware that God does not forsake His own indeed, and I’m encouraged by Ps. 34:19
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
For despite the challenges, I bow in honour and humility the Grace God has offered and continues to afford me and my family.
“Even with a spirit charged by the timeless words of Rudyard Kipling in his timeless poem “If” (1943).
“More than ever before, with what I have passed through within the last months, I embrace the ever reassuring grace and presence of the Holy spirit, which affords my soul to appreciate the professionalism and dignity of many of the staff and persons at the EFCC detention centre, Judiciary and the Ikoyi prisons. It could only be God.
“With a humble spirit, I plead for well meaning Nigerians to await the court trial and due process in this matter that would allow me to share my side of the story and equally bring to light the testimonies of this journey of immense grace and revelation.
“It is noteworthy, that none of the charges against me has to do with my tenure as Chairman of INEC. And to the scientific community, please be assured that this would not negatively affect the several ongoing work by Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) in contributing to the discovery and development of phytomedicines for tropical and emergent diseases, and the use of our world-class research facility for the standardization of African Medicinal Plants.
“I would like to acknowledge my beloved family, friends and my legal team for their support, hard work, solidarity and prayers. God heard all of you and never left me. The darkness that has enveloped the day is not yet over, please remain steadfast.
“Long Live The Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Prof. Maurice M. Iwu